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Dan Cruickshank on the memorials and monuments to the dead of World War One

By: stagedoorscribbler - November 16, 2020

Dan Cruickshank

This has been an extraordinary year with so many people's lives impacted by the havoc caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet it has been worth remembering a time100 years ago when things were even worse. In 1920 we were still emerging from the dark days of World War One which had ended just two years earlier and left millions dead. There was also a deadly flu pandemic and an uncertain future lay ahead.
In some ways last week’s Remembrance events were more poignant than usual. In a small way the nation could relate more closely than in previous years to the tragic sense of loss that hung like a cloud over so many of those who survived.
It was interesting to see that, in the slew or related matters that followed the Remembrance commemorations, BBC2 repeated the 2018 centenary programme by architectural historian Dan Cruickshank exploring the monuments to those killed in the war.
Dan, who is a popular speaker with Clive Conway Productions, revealed the extraordinary story behind the design and building of the cemeteries and memorials of World War One.
He looked at Tyne Cot in Belgium, the final resting place of nearly 12,000 Commonwealth servicemen.
He explored Sir Edwin Lutyens  extraordinary Thiepval Memorial to more than 72,000 men who died on the Somme with no known grave.
And he travelled to Turkey to Shrapnel Valley which contains the graves of 683 soldiers who died during the Gallipoli Campaign.

*You’ll be able to see Dan Cruickshank in one of our hugely successful live streamed Curtain Up presentations later this month when he delivers a history of Soho, its architecture and people. It’s on at 6.30pm on Saturday and Sunday 28th and 29th Click this link for tickets